A fascinating, moving novel based on the real life of Dr Ernst Dieffenbach: scientist, explorer, revolutionary, outcast.
Dieffenbach arrived in New Zealand in 1839 as a naturalist. What he discovered was fascinating, but what his prescient records didn't reveal was his own intriguing story. This compelling novel turns the focus on Dieffenbach. As a young idealist, he had plotted a revolution in the name of equality. Imprisoned and then exiled, first from Giessen, then Strasbourg, then Zurich, he fled to London. He hoped to redeem his reputation by joining the expedition to New Zealand. But as he was to discover, the complexities of freedom, exile and equality could not be left behind.
Featuring Darwin, Charles Heaphy and the notorious Māori chief Te Rauparaha, The Naturalist connects New Zealand's past with world history and brings alive the story of this remarkable man.